Texting has been the contributing factor to far too many wrecks all over the country, and Texas is no different. In 2008 alone, 5,000 deaths were attributed to texting while driving, while in the year 2013 94,000 accidents were caused by distraction-related actions, many of which could be linked to texting. While these numbers are high, HPD’s Traffic Liaison Don Egdorf claims these numbers are underreported. While steps have been taken, such as Austin’s “Hands Free Ordinance” which can cost violators up to $500, Houston has had a hands-off stance on the issue aside from phone use in school zones. Former Governor Rick Perry was at the forefront of this position, claiming the government had no place mandating how adults chose to drive, unless they drove too recklessly or parked where they shouldn’t.
Newly appointed Governor Greg Abbott seemingly wants to continue this tradition, with his administration conveying that Abbott wants to continue enforcing laws already in place, but not make any of his own on the matter. There was an initial statement from his office claiming an aggressive stance against the dangerous practice, but it was later dulled by the following ‘Wait-and-See’ statement that promised the public that Abbott would consider any policy that would better Texas.
Many people at least know of a person who has been affected by the dangers of texting while driving. Over 30 families who lost someone due to the bad habit united last Tuesday at the State Capitol to show their support of two new bills that would protect future families from the pain they suffered. If passed, the Bills would allow drivers to be fined up to $200, a misdemeanor offense, that would increase for every violation.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident with a texting driver, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.